Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Chief Medial Editor, NBC News
Princeton, NJ, United States

About Dr. Nancy

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Dr. Nancy Snyderman joined NBC News as the Chief Medical Editor in September 2006. Her reports appear on “Today,” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Dateline NBC,” MSNBC, and MSNBC.com.

Snyderman has reported on wide-ranging topics affecting society and has traveled the world extensively, reporting from many of the world's most troubled areas. Snyderman also serves as the Medial Director of GE’s healthymagination initiative and serves on the board of directors of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She is on staff in the Department of the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining NBC News, Snyderman served as Vice President of Consumer Education at Johnson & Johnson. There she focused on the importance of digital health. Snyderman also served as the medical correspondent for ABC News for 17 years and was a contributor to “20/20,” “Primetime,” and “Good Morning America.” She was a frequent substitute co-host on “Good Morning America.”

Snyderman attended medical school at the University of Nebraska and continued with residencies in Pediatrics and Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. She joined the surgical staff at the University of Arkansas in 1983 and began her broadcasting career shortly after at KATV, the ABC affiliates in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Snyderman’s medical work has been widely published in peer review journals and she is the recipient of numerous research grants. She was awarded a Kellogg fellowship in 1987. She has also been recognized in broadcasting with Emmy, DuPont, and Gracie awards. She is a New York Times bestselling author, having written five books: “Dr Nancy Snyderman's Guide to Good Health for Women Over Forty,” “Necessary Journeys,” “Girl in the Mirror: Mothers and Daughters in the Years of Adolescence,” “Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat,” and “Medical Myths That Can Kill You.”

Snyderman lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband, Doug, and is the mother of three children, Kate, Rachel and Charlie. She is an avid equestrian and hiker.

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Dr. Nancy Snyderman
Posted over 2 years ago
A conversation with GE: Why do we avoid making tough health choices? And, what could motivate us to behave differently?
While we wrestle with how best to spend our health care dollars and the belief that screening for certain diseases can save lives, I would like to know what you think. Cancer of the colon runs in my family so I started colonoscopies at the age of 40. But breast cancer I have no risks for and probably could have put off screening until I was 50. What are your beliefs about screening? What do you do and where do you turn for advice?
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Dr. Nancy Snyderman
Posted over 2 years ago
A conversation with GE: Why do we avoid making tough health choices? And, what could motivate us to behave differently?
It is a passion of mine to call attention to medical errors and get back to the basics in medicine which can be as simple as washing one's hands. I am horrified to see doctors in the United States underestimate the importance of preventing germ contamination from one patient to another. The idea that we can save 100,000 lives a year by preventing hospital mistakes is one reason why I was trilled to join the board of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, MA. The Institute follows the passion of Dr. Don Berwick and the concept that we can improve the health care of people worldwide - sometimes with simple changes and sometimes by rebuilding health networks and systems.
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Dr. Nancy Snyderman
Posted over 2 years ago
A conversation with GE: Why do we avoid making tough health choices? And, what could motivate us to behave differently?
It is interesting that cultural differences play roles in how we regard our physician/healers and how we access the health care systems. I know it can be dangerous to compare countries and the structure of medical systems, so let me address this as a surgeon who has traveled the world but only treated people in the United States. Most of us prepare more time thinking about what we want to get at the grocery store or market than we do before seeing the doctor. But whether sick or healthy, preparing for that visit can save time and allow us to get more out of the visit. Sharing information can be frightening. But I think it is just as scary when doctors don't take the time to ask the basics....how are you? how is work? How is your marriage and the children? Are you under stress or sad? The social aspects of our lives can influence disease and illness. The bottom line for all of us, anywhere in the world, is to do the things in life that can keep us healthy, share the burden of staying healthy with our health care provider, and use the hospital as a last resort. Being smart and honest go a long way no matter which country we live in.
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Dr. Nancy Snyderman
Posted over 2 years ago
A conversation with GE: Why do we avoid making tough health choices? And, what could motivate us to behave differently?
Hi Nicola. I found the comments about your knee injury interesting. You are right that thinking about our health doesn't always enter our minds before we try to go for the gold medal – at least for us non-professional athletes. Diagnostics are an important part of medical treatment. If tests are inconclusive, it’s frustrating for a patient to have to return to the doctor or visit more than one physician. Multiple appointments can also drive up costs. Although breakthroughs in technology are helping doctors do more for patients every day, one simple thing that patients can do when a diagnosis is conclusive is to follow their doctors recommendations – as simple as that sounds. According to government estimates, $100 billion of cost is incurred every year in the US due to preventable hospitalization, emergency room, and repeat physician visits. In that case, the specific driver is not taking medications properly. It wasn’t so cut and dry in your case, though. The human body sometimes has a clock for healing that is independent of anything we might wish. I think we have all been there. Common sense, combined with an astute use of the web and finding a health care partner who will listen to you is the best medicine (and perhaps not trying to score every goal). Building on the web/data theme, I think it’s fascinating today to see how much information is available to consumers about their health. Sites like MedHelp, Healthline and WebMD make medical information more accessible to the masses than ever before. Being so well armed helps patients – whether rural or urban, rich or poor – improve their awareness about the most cutting edge procedures and then ask their doctors more informed questions during appointments. You don’t have to live near a top academic institution anymore to gather information about the best treatment paths for whatever ails you. This is promising.